5 Unknown Facts About Chewbacca Actor Peter Mayhew and ‘Star Wars’ Crew Touching Tributes

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Peter Mayhew, the original Chewbacca in “Star Wars” has died, at the age of 74.

Nexter.org has gathered unknown facts about the actor and celeb’s heartbreaking tributes to the big loss. 

RIP, legend!

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Source: Getty Images

Peter Mayhew, the actor who played Chewbacca in the Star Wars films, died Tuesday, his family said. He was 74.

The cause of Mayhew’s death was not immediately announced. The 7-foot-2-inch actor had mobility issues in recent years and in 2018 underwent spinal surgery.

Mayhew originated the role of Chewbacca, the Wookiee copilot of the Millennium Falcon, in the original Star Wars trilogy and returned for Episode III — Revenge of the Sith and The Force Awakens.

Source: Getty Images

“He fought his way back from being wheelchair-bound to stand tall and portray Chewbacca once more in Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” a family statement said. “He also consulted on The Last Jedi in an attempt to teach his successor.”

He used his fame to support charitable work, ultimately creating the Peter Mayhew Foundation to support a variety of causes. That work will continue under the leadership of his wife, Angie. Mayhew is also survived by his three children.

Unknown facts about Peter Mayhew life

Source: Getty Images

  • He is so tall because of Marfan syndrome

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Mayhew is very tall. In fact, he stood at 7’3″ at his tallest, which is well above the average height for either English men or American men.

However, it is interesting to note that Mayhew’s height isn’t the result of gigantism but rather Marfan syndrome, which causes people to look tall and thin as well as a number of other potential issues. Fortunately, while Marfan syndrome happens in one out of 5,000 to 10,000 people, people with the medical condition can live a normal life with a normal life expectancy so long as they get the proper treatment.

  • He worked as a hospital attendant before Star Wars

According to Variety, Mayhew was first “found” by producer Charles H. Schneer while he was working as a hospital attendant in London. By the following year, he’d won the role of Chewbacca for the Star Wars series.

  • He has almost lost his role 

Mayhew, who was 7’3 at his tallest, almost lost the role to bodybuilder George Prowse; Variety reports that George Lucas preferred Prowse, but eventually Prowse was given the role of Darth Vader, and Mayhew snagged the job that would define his career.

Source: Getty Images

  • Mayhew was not the one who provided the famous Chewbacca noises

Rather, he is credited with giving life to the figure itself, within the expressive emotion he offered through his gaze alone, as well as through his physical movements.

  • He has spent a lot of time visiting children in hospitals in Chewbacca costume

Star Wars fans should be familiar with the fact that Mayhew has appeared in numerous projects in the Star Wars franchise. For example, he has been in five of the eight main installments that have been released so far.

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Source: Giphy

‘Star Wars’ team pay tribute

On Thursday, actor Mark Hamill — Star Wars’ Luke Skywalker — tweeted his remembrance of Mayhew.

“He was the gentlest of giants-A big man with an even bigger heart who never failed to make me smile & a loyal friend who I loved dearly-I’m grateful for the memories we shared & I’m a better man for just having known him,” Hamill said.

Harrison Ford, who as Han Solo often shared the screen with Mayhew, offered his condolences to Mayhew’s family and applauded his contributions to the Star Warsfranchise.

“Peter Mayhew was a kind and gentle man, possessed of great dignity and noble character,” Ford said in a statement to BuzzFeed News. “These aspects of his own personality, plus his wit and grace, he brought to Chewbacca. We were partners in film and friends in life for over 30 years and I loved him. He invested his soul in the character and brought great pleasure to the Star Wars audience.”

Source: Getty Images

The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson and The Hobbit star Elijah Wood added their voices.


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5 Unknown Facts About Chewbacca Actor Peter Mayhew and 'Star Wars' Crew Touching Tributes
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5 Unknown Facts About Chewbacca Actor Peter Mayhew and 'Star Wars' Crew Touching Tributes
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Peter Mayhew, the original Chewbacca in "Star Wars" has died, at the age of 74. Nexter.org has gathered unknown facts about the actor and celeb's heartbreaking tributes to the big loss. 
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